Posts Tagged homemade

kitchen staple: vegetable stock

There are a several kitchen staples that I prefer to make rather than buy. I have a few reasons for this: I know exactly wants goes into something when I make, it can often be cheaper, but most of all, it’s the tastier way to do things.

One of my favorite things to make is vegetable stock. This comes in so handy during the winter months and it’s a good way to use up parts of vegetables you would normally throw out, like carrot tops. You can also improvise it with whatever you have on hand.
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more soup!

It’s been chilly here and I’ve been taking full advantage by making all of our favorite soups. I think I’ve finally perfected the ol’ potato leek. It makes quite a lot which is nice for dinner the day it’s made and lunches on following days.


8 cups chicken stock
6 potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
4 leeks (whites only), thoroughly washed and sliced
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup heavy cream

Combine chicken stock, potatoes, leeks, celery, bay leaf and thyme in a large pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Boil until the potatoes are soft.
Take out the bay leaf.
Blend the soup until smooth.
*****Make sure you let the soup cool down before blending and blend in very small batches. otherwise you, your dog, and kitchen will end up wearing it*****
Pour the soup into a medium pot.
Add the cream and simmer until the soup has thickened
Sprinkle a little paprika on top and enjoy!

a cherry pie

Today I was planning to share a sewing project that I’ve been working on. I thought I would have it done yesterday, but then I got distracted and made a cherry pie instead of finishing a hem. You know how it goes.

Maybe I’ll have the new garment ready tomorrow. For now here’s a handsome cherry pie.

cherry pie2
cherry pie 1

I still haven’t found a recipe I like for cherry pie filling so this is just pre-made, but it’s awfully good pre-made. Anyone have a topnotch cherry filling recipe I should try?

lemon curd tarts

Yesterday, I tried my hand at making lemon curd tarts. This was my first time making this kind of a citrus-y dessert and I think it was pretty successful.

I used this recipe, but next time I’ll use a Jamie Oliver recipe for the crust. I prefer it to this one. I also cut down on the amount of sugar in the filling and added a little extra lemon juice. It has a nice, sweetly-tart flavor.

lemon curd tart 1


lemon curd tart 2


lemon curd tart 3

chocolate coconut granola bites

I saw this recipe a few days ago and thought I would give it try. I changed up just a few things: I used dark chocolate and instead of flax seeds I used granola with sunflower seeds. I might play with flavor combinations even more next time.

They make a perfect afternoon snack with a cup of coffee.

recipe: chocolate coconut granola bites

recipe: chocolate coconut granola bites

What you’ll need:
2 cups chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
2 cups granola (I used a granola with sunflower seeds and a hint of vanilla)
2 cups coconut shavings, lightly toasted

Note: If you need to toast the coconut shavings yourself, spread in a thin layer on a baking tray and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Toss the coconut around two or three times during baking to prevent burning.

Place the chocolate chips in a double boiler and melt over medium heat, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat, add the granola and stir to combine. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes, to cool and harden the mix a little bit.

Arrange the toasted coconut shavings on a large baking sheet. Using your hands, scoop out a small amount of the chocolate granola mix and roll it around in the shavings, forming little balls.

recipe: victoria sponge cake

For Valentine’s Day I tried a new recipe for dessert. Not only had I never used this recipe, but I had never tasted this kind of cake before. It was a Victoria Sponge cake and it is the best thing I have ever made ever. Ever, ever, ever. It’s a traditional British dessert and it would certainly make any high tea table proud.

It’s not too tricky to make. For me, the longest part was prepping the pans.

Victoria Sponge Cake

For the sponge (cake):
1 cup unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 cups of self-rising flour, sifted plus extra for dusting
3/4 cup superfine sugar
4 eggs
zest of 1 lemon

Victoria Sponge Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottoms and sides of two 8 inch cake pans with butter, line the bottom with parchment paper, and dust the sides of the pans with flour.

Beat the butter and sugar together, until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time. Beating well between each egg.

Fold in the flour and lemon zest.

Divide the batter between the pans and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and risen.
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around here: valentine’s day

Yesterday was a pretty, low-key, and lovely day for a Valentine’s Day. There were flowers at our favorite coffee shop (Joel’s mom treated us to our usuals from all the way in California! They tasted extra wonderful.), and I watched Casablanca and made Joel ginger snaps.

Valentine's Day at Vintage Heart

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a tale of two dinners

I feel like I’ve been doing a pretty good job of keeping up with my 365 one photo a day goal. Sure I miss a few days here or there and sometimes the most interesting subject I can find ends up being dinner or my plants, but I’ve captured some pretty light and that makes me happy.

I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight and started clicking through some recent dinner shots and thought it would be fun to share a review of the two most recently photographed ones:

Dinner No. 1
Brussels Sprouts and Endives & Chickpeas and Tomatoes with Shallots, Panko Crumbs and Basil

brussels sprouts and endives & chickpeas and tomatoes

They have a bad reputation, but brussels sprouts are my hands down favorite vegetable right now! I fix mine by cutting off the bottoms of each sprout and halving or quartering them depending on how big they are. Then they get blanched for 3 minutes, drained and quickly sautéed in a  little butter. Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt and pepper and-oh my goodness! so good!

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the very best pizza

Yesterday was the World Cup final and a nice homemade pizza seemed like the best way to celebrate! I was munching away thinking about how delicious our favorite pizza recipe is when I realized  you might like to make a slice of your own!

photo 192

It’s a wee bit of a project, but so worth it! Here’s what you do:

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